This is a guest post by my friend, Jeni. I’ve known Jeni since 7th grade (!), and although I haven’t seen her in many years, I recently reconnected with her via Instagram. I was loving her encouraging Instagram posts, so I asked her to share with us today. I know you will be encouraged by her story, too.
There are those who are soothed by a plan, who crave a visual journey laid out in goals and benchmarks and are extra excited if that plan fits onto an Excel spreadsheet.
I am not one of those people…except when it came to getting pregnant.
My goals were simple: 1) Get my Master’s in Speech Pathology, 2) Marry by 23, 3) Have a family at 25. (I don’t know why those were my numbers, but a young twenty-something thought they sounded good.) The first two goals would prove to be as easy as waking up in the morning compared to the seemingly insurmountable dream of having my own child.
I was told right away by professionals that my husband and I would not have a child without intervention and IVF was on the table after our first meeting. We ended up pursuing a completely different route before eventually conceiving (Yup, it happened. Take that “professionals”!)
But this isn’t about that first doctor meeting or how we conceived. This is about the journey in between… because while man had declared one thing over my body, I knew God had declared another.
This is what I would cling to for the
one, two, three, four years in between.
I was in my social circle’s prime-time for baby-making- that season when people make comments like, “Something must be in the water because everyone’s getting pregnant!” (except me). The first pregnancy announcement was not so bad as we had just started trying ourselves. But by the time that person’s baby shower rolled around just seven months later I was a hot mess in a pretty dress. That was the first (and last) time I left a baby shower and hid in the bathroom sobbing quietly. It was the last time because I didn’t attend most showers for at least another three years. The goal of having a child had infiltrated my ability to enjoy regular events in life. I wasn’t proud of that; I was hurting.
Somewhere in those four years I decided to get serious about prayer. I was physically doing everything within my power to have a baby, but the longing had long turned into a painful gnawing that never left.
Have you ever asked God for a word to focus on for the year? For those years my word was “faith.” That was the least fun word I could have received because it basically translated, “Hold on! It’s not happening yet. Wait.” Ahhh, wait.
Through lots of tears, lots of questions, and a bit of isolation I discovered a few things about waiting and the mindset I carried in that season. I had a change of perspective and an eventual emotional breakthrough that led me to peace with the process.
Although I knew I would someday be a mom, I had turned my future baby into my present idol. Ouch. Talk about swallowing a pill sideways. But it was undeniable. I was eating, exercising, sleeping, LIVING to get pregnant. It was easy to focus on His promise and neglect His command to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And while God loves to give us promises and always makes good on them, chasing a promise is a poor substitute for chasing God.
Just because I felt God had promised me a child didn’t mean I had the authority to override His timing on delivery. Again, ouch. Since I believed He was God of all, I had to respect Him as the God of timing as well. Did I mention this wasn’t comfortable?
To think I was waiting on a baby was incorrect and futile; to learn I was waiting on God was life-breathing and freeing because I knew He was faithful. I had to stop bowing to the Almighty Pee Stick and get back to bowing to Him.
Waiting was not a passive state. It was not running my physical body through the ringer and praying that ClearBlue would declare me “Pregnant” all the while feeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually defeated. There was an intentionality that needed to be switched on in my spirit.
My word “wait” evolved into “persistent, determined, expectant.” Waiting was no longer an anchor; it was my ammunition. I determined to live each day letting His promise be at rest in me because I chose to keep my eyes fixed on Him rather than my timeline or my ovulation cycle.
When we wait well it’s an act of worship. I turned up the heat on my worship time, prayer time, fellowship time…and while I can’t say that was the magic bullet that allowed me to conceive it sure did restore my joy.
I wish I learned to wait well sooner because it allowed me to enjoy life through that journey. The lessons from that season are sacred to me still. Out of all the rigamarole I went through to get pregnant, exercising my faith muscle really was the most important thing that I did.
Image courtesy of UnSplash. Creative Commons Zero License.